This is the last review volume that the late Bob Boutilier edited.

John Treherne, the journal's third Editor in Chief, originally set up the review collections in 1979, with the publication of a special issue on `Cellular Oscillators'. The objective was to encourage new authors to contribute to the journal and bring in new content. Since then, the journal has continued to support review volumes, focusing on issues as diverse as `The Search For Principles Of Neuronal Organization' and `Mechanisms In Walking And Running'.

When Bob joined the journal as Editor in Chief in 1994, he was deeply committed to expanding the journal and encouraging new submissions. He was particularly supportive of the special review issues and carefully selected topics able to attract a broader physiological audience to the journal that would highlight the relevance and power of the comparative approach to mainstream physiology.

Under Bob's guidance years, the journal has hosted such discussions at least once a year, and the last special collection, which was published while Bob was alive in 2004, was compiled in honour of Peter Hochachka entitled `Roles Of Intracellular Movement And Intracellular Structure In Metabolic Regulation'. However, Bob's final legacy to the JEB is the current collection of papers discussing the effects of hypoxia on the brain,comparative to clinical, which he and I worked on together. Its comprehensiveness and depth is a nice tribute to Bob's memory.